You have spent the hours, days, weeks, months now making ends meet. And at the end of each night there has always been this moment, this moment of holding your breath. Of sadness as the door shuts and there are no more grown up voices.
Last night, we stretched ourselves too thin. And as darkness crept into our small apartment, it was filled with cries. His and mine. Responses, perhaps to pain, hunger, discomfort, exhaustion. No matter. We just cried. Me, laying on my side, him crooked in my elbow. Staring at each other, as if we were the only ones who could fix each other's pain.
Not as if. This is true. We are the only ones.
And we fell asleep like that. Waking up when it was still early, and still very dark. Him eating and me forgetting to. Counting down the hours, it seemed. Not until morning. But until 2.
His shadow darkened the doorway and all the hurt I'd been feeling, all the uncertainty, all the fear was gone. Scared away by his big darkness. And Judah laughed and I laughed, breathing deeper than I had all night. Sinking back in the first gesture of comfort I'd made in six hours. And we stay this way, us.
Judah keeps smiling, waving his arms and kicking his legs -- because he knows he can. And he responds to the deepness of his voice with a deepness of his own and stares, even in the darkness finding the light in his eyes.
I saw it the first time they met, though I contributed it to something different. I remember when Judah fit snugly in his two hands, no effort, just safely cupped there like such a small thing.
And he doesn't fit there anymore. But he still fits there on his chest. The broadness of it too much for the span of all of Judah. He lays there, sliding, burying his face, absorbing his smell.
And I know he loves him. In the way you can only love something if you've known it for as long as it has existed. Someone, for as long as they've been alive. In that same way, you can only understand growth if you were there before it happened.
I lay there. Thinking this may be the first moment all day when I felt that everything was right. The first moment all day when I felt whole and unafraid.
And I reprimand myself for this, before you beat me to it. Because what truly makes me whole, is the little boy. The one who looks like me. And seems already too big to have ever been inside of me.
But the peace I felt then... I guess we call it hope. That biting of the tongue, to keep from saying what just welled up in my heart. The wishing and the knowing... I cannot only feel peaceful now. I cannot count on this in such a way that every other moment is effected.
Perhaps, it is just that we don't want to feel alone.
But I know better than that.